Allan WexlerArchitect and Artist
Unknowability of our Daily Lives
Each year Allan Wexler asks his new students in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons School of Design in New York City to rethink and redesign the traditional laundromat. Many of the solutions they come up with are nicely surprising. One student placed a cubicle for a psychologist between the washing machines in order to help clients question their need to wash clothing so often.
Wexler’s own works explore human activity and the built environment. He works in the fields of architecture, design and fine art as an investigator using series, permutations and chance rather than searching for definitive solutions. He makes buildings, furniture, vessels and utensils as backdrops and props for everyday, ordinary human activity.
His projects also include conceptual works like ‘How to Build a Digital Brick Wall (2009), an exploration of the relationship between the handcraft and computercraft. For this project Wexler used a brick mouse to construct a digital drawing of a brick wall, demanding from it as much time, sweat, blistering and physical exhaustion as an actual bricklayer.
On Wexler, critic Aaron Betsky wrote: ‘Allan Wexler is an artist whose gallery objects bring us back to the first thing: how we keep rain off our heads, how we define space, how we measure our time. He elaborates on these simple acts in form. This is the core of his work. It is a type of experimentation with what we think we know: his work confronts us with the unknowability of even the simplest aspects of our daily lives.’